A Local’s Guide to Luxury Aruba
I was born in Aruba and I am very proud that it has some of the world's cleanest water and is the safest island in the Caribbean. The convenient location puts Aruba out of the way of hurricanes, and the shallow clear water on the western coast is a bit too warm for sharks making it the best place to swim. Aruba is a popular breeding and laying destination for turtles so it is quite common to spot them. The Island is also a popular vacation spot for celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Stephen King and the royal family of the Netherlands.
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Where to stay in Aruba
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
An award-winner for adults only, on Aruba’s beautiful Eagle Beach.
Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort
A megaresort with personality, this something-for-everyone escape has a whopping 555 rooms, a private 40-acre island and a 24-hour casino.
Tierra Del Sol
An upscale villa community on 600 coastal acres—a favorite with golf lovers and relaxation seekers.
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Things to do in Aruba
The beaches are what Aruba is known for. With so many options there is a beach for everyone. Boca Catalina is a smaller beach that offers small rock cliffs you can snorkel under. It does fill up quickly so getting there early is ideal.
Eagle Beach is one of the best-rated beaches for a reason. Even the turtles choose it as one of their preferred nesting areas. The coastline is expansive and the mangrove trees provide you with the perfect amount of shade.
Baby Beach is also considered one of the most beautiful beaches. The water is very shallow so you won't get much boat traffic near the swim areas making it perfect for small children and for people who need to practice their snorkeling.
If you need a break from the bright white sand then Black Stone Beach is the place to go especially if you want to get out and explore the nature around it.
Arashi Beach is close to the California Lighthouse and is also a popular place for turtles. Most tourists report turtle sightings in this area.
Palm Beach is where all the action is at. It is very touristy as all the most popular hotels are built along it. If you want to stay close to the nightlife, watersports and restaurants then Palm Beach is where you can find it all.
Yoga on the beach with Happy Buddha Aruba is another great way to align your mind with the flow and relaxation of Aruba. Happy Buddha was the first yoga studio on the island that offered hot yoga, if you prefer yoga in the studio.
Spa Del Sol provides massages on the beach using high quality aloe and coconut oil products. Travelers love the professionalism of the massage therapists and the beautiful scenery of the cabanas.
Enjoy the beach without worrying about where to grab lunch with Picnic Aruba. A luxury pop-up picnic is perfect for any occasion – a girls trip, bachelor party, family vacation or romantic getaway.
I recommend Strea Charters for a top snorkeling experience, especially because it has unlimited drinks and lunch included. The snorkel location is Mangel Halto, a location which is considered one of the best locations on the island. That being said, if you don’t have a lot of experience snorkeling, I don’t recommend going – as it's easy to unintentionally damage the coral in the area. For those looking for an experience above water, Strea Charters offers sunset dinner tours for romantic dinners.
For history lovers, there are many places you can visit by car to learn about the island such as the Aruba Aloe Museum, National Archeological Museum and the Bushiribana Gold Ruins. These places give you insight on the history of the island and how it has turned to what it is today.
Places to eat & drink in Aruba
Aruba Experience Cafe: This adorable cafe is a great spot for pastries and vegan friendly options for breakfast. There is space to sit outside and catch some sunlight.
Craft Aruba: Both a breakfast joint and bar, Craft Aruba serves up great coffee, delicious açaí bowls and an array of other breakfast options. Come sunset the spot transforms into a lively hub for cocktails and mingling.
The Kitchen Table: Reserve one of the 16 spots at the kitchen table – this tasting menu is not to be missed! Intimate, elegant and exquisite cuisine.
Aqua Grill: A cozy gem in Aruba for lunch or dinner. Try the crab cakes and don’t skip out on dessert.
The Restaurant at Tierra del Sol: Dine with panoramic views of the Caribbean while enjoying international cuisine.
Faro Blanco Restaurant: This restaurant brings Italian cuisine to Aruba’s northern coast. Enjoy traditional Italian fare and choose from over 100 wine pairing selections.
Quinta del Carmen: You’ll want to return to this spot more than once during your stay – a casual restaurant with a formal feel, fantastic service and delicious cuisine.
Sunset Grille: World-class dining can be found at the Hilton’s poolside restaurant, Sunset Grille. Travelers come here for the professionally prepared steak. Reservations are recommended.
Papiamento: A unique dining experience you won’t forget. Papiamento is a tropical paradise with a ton of personal touches – there is a 126 year old house next to the restaurant’s pool that is filled with antiques from Europe for you to peruse at your leisure.
Elements at Bucuti: An adults-only restaurant with amazing beach views. Make a reservation for a romantic sunset dinner and enjoy a six course meal.
Zeerover: Fun atmosphere that brings new meaning to fresh fish. As you sit and wait for your food you watch the fishermen come back to the pier with all the fish they will prepare that day. The shrimp is delicious in their special seasoning and you will not be able to get enough.
Flying Fishbone: This restaurant offers a beautiful setting on a beach where you have to take your shoes off to wade to your table. I recommend going at sunset for the most magical experience.
Kamini's Kitchen: Not a well-known establishment, but they have some great local food. They are located near Baby Beach in a bright green cunucu house. While you dine there you might come across some wild donkeys or goats.
Chalo Burger or Aruba Riba: Food trucks that have great food that also can cure your hangover before it even sets in.
Need to Know
Aruba has tourist seasons (high in December and Summer) but is pleasant year-round. Since it is a desert island it does not rain frequently. Carnival takes place from November to early March. Most events are in January-February. I suggest renting a car on the island instead of using taxis. It is very hot so dress accordingly. Sunscreen is very important but make sure it is reef-friendly to protect our coral. Also, respecting the island is the number one thing. There is no tolerance for littering or causing destruction in Aruba.
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